Island covid-19 spike

It is ominous development when an island state reports a peaking number of virus cases at this stage of the pandemic. Some regions of the world will suffer worse than Italy and the Brazil, not because of anti-vax sentiment and activism. Many more thousands are being sentenced by business-friendly politicians to death. They have been in a hurry to be “open for business” from the time the first measures against the virus were taken.

Hawaii has just reported upwards of 500 new cases, a record for the island state. If an isolated island can experience such a downturn where do crowded and connected jurisdictions like Los Angeles or Montreal stand?

Woe to those who think opening up for business with mere lipservice regard for virus control statistics is a humane policy.

Kid no mo’

Genocide is assumed to be the most heinous crime. I have always thought that Britain and Spain have to pay for the tribes they have made disappear. Some islands in the Caribbean have no First Nations left and those powers think they can just apologize and life goes on merrily. Kid us no more. The continuing disappearance of Canada’s First Nations women and children will not be adequately addressed if the Vatican apologizes to the First Nations of Canada and faces no day in court. Please, kid us no more!

The kidding about western or eastern goodness must end

Pol Pot, the PRC, a host of ancient empires, and all those kingdoms who have made large groups disappear without having to answer to the human collective have no lucky stars to thank. The modern homicidal ventures only get more press and no one but the utterly corrupt will find reasons to make genocide palatable. A day of reckoning is dawning. The sea is revealing its homicide secrets as predicted.

Our morality had better be consistent with the supreme powers of the justice of the cross. We had better work hard on this opportunity to love mercy, execute justice, and walk humbly. Governments will never be bastions of grace, mercy, and justice, but people who are can influence government to recognize that people – all people deserve a lot more dignity. What is going to happen in the Roman Catholic Church as a response to its involvement in genocidal activities is a matter for a more profound reflection on what it means to be servants of Light, champions of education and conscientious citizens contributing to solving social issues. Let’s pray and work for a brighter day. Kid us no more!

Is champion hero Simone Biles being extorted?

We may find out that our Olympian warrior and artist is a victim of greed and jealousy. I have little means to investigate cyber assaults and extortion, but I can pray.

Let us pray that Miss Biles continues to a glorious end of her sporting career and loses none of her humanity. Let us dare to dream that she recaptures anything lost in her highly focused development as a world class gymnast.

Lodging in a desert

God’s servants often need a place of solace and rest. Rest for the eyes from viewing the desolation and corruption of the sacred treasures and rest for the mind from the anxieties of ordinary life was going to inevitably be a . Examples of this appear in the life of Yeshua with his need for undistracted prayer time, but it is Yohan the Baptist who seems, more than any, to have chosen to live in a desert, and it was not in pursuit of the nomad heritage in Israelite culture. David’s longings in one of his maskils – Psalm 55 – seems to have found a place in New Testament times with the Baptist’s flight from society.

(6) I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. (7) “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge (Hebrew lun) in the wilderness. (8) “I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.”

Psalms 55:6-8

If one is tempted to think that Yohan had a sheltered life in Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home then the facts about Aaronic families should help. There is no question that Zechariah was vigorously training his son to become a priest. It is what they do. At some point Yohan had to say “Enough of this priesthood prep!” He fled not only his parents’ home, he put distance betwen himself and society. There was no chance of him becoming a priest.

Yeshua and the desert

Although LUN (לון) is used for overnight stays God’s messenger made the desert his home.

The holy city was not in Yohan’s days a place of refuge for God’s servants and certainly not for Messiah’s messenger. Let’s make sure we know our desert place and its potential to provide for rest and refuge apart from family and culture.

Mammon’s mediocre madness

We know that many public figures are clanging cymbals and noisy drums, but that reality had not seized us until modern politics began to do what ancient religions have done with no redemption in sight then or now. Mediocrity is the fool’s gold.

It does not have to be written anywhere. The facts about our evaluation of success still revolve around Mammon and are out in the open. Academic degrees (especially the ones that omit biblical literacy), business acumen, and alliances with failed states, and real estate are the evidence that mediocrity is the pearl of great price for many of our leaders.

Does a man serving the God and Father of Yeshua the Messiah evaluate a modern nation or its beneficiaries by consumer affairs? There would seem to be no line between God and Mammon.

Junk is a flag flying high in the night

There is little doubt that cliches appealing to our lowest desires fill the sky where we should see the unique message of “Sins Forgiven”.   When Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” he was shaping the gospel shout out.  We do well to stay close to this man’s example.  One does have to imagine a very different world if this verse had to be interpreted in ways that set the kingdom challenge as low as it could be: shining the spotlight on food and drink and temporary things. 

Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the healing  of your diseases, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the filling  of your wallet, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the correction  of your diet, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the enhancement  of your marriage, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Junk’s smoking gun

The burdens of conforming in order to follow ought to disappear if people have been thinking that they respond – He is always speaking – to God ‘s offer to change their status in the world. There is no precedent for the merchandizing pattern thart modern Christians have overlayed Just suppose Peter meant to say…

Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the cessation of personal sin, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The conmen in the back alleys of church life will continue to flash their Moses dealership card and engage in gluing Christ to dealing with sin, but the Saviour only pardons sins. He uses neither sin detectors nor vaccinations against sin. Why would God bother to pardon any sin at all if His Main Messenger is going to keep using the tools of what is obviously a sin ministry?

When blood loses its efficacy

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

It is not just misguided responders like the prosperity preachers, the possibility thinkers, the “word of faith” crew, who are contributing to our junky skies. You just try finding a church with a humble student of the word of God as its pastor. You just try finding a pastor who does not think his nation is a copy of Israel or Judah. Just try finding a faith community (denomination) that does not put its own literature up on the mantle with the writings of the Mosaic tradition and the writings of the eyewitnesses of Messiah and their immediate disciples. Those writings cannot be trusted; not as long as we have access to the unique and exclusive documents of our Messianic heritage. The difference betwen junk and treasure cannot be clearer.

Parting gift: serenity

Peace (is what) I am leaving for you

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

John 14:27

My peace is specific to the Saviour, and the use of the possessive adjective not the simple possessive pronoun (“of me”, mou). The “mine” (emen) peace is the peace Christ possesses as Only-Begotten and which he demonstrated in the face of life’s storms such as in a storm on the lake and when persecuted by the synagogue and temple authorities.

A gift is not earned, and this one is clearly not so. This is certainly the peace beyond our understanding and transcending our troubles.

Jerusalem the unmanageable

Even with our best definitions of faith it is puzzling that CNN is rewriting the facts about Jerusalem’s significance as an example faith and prime real estate.  When students are introduced to the religions of the world there are many similarities in practices  and beliefs between a number of them that the students find impressive.  On closer inspection the gaping holes appear leaving little question that there is no such thing as a world religion.  The religions that have been practiced in Palestine recognize that a system of government needs to have a king and a royal residence. Mosaic doctrine features God’s choice of a place and a king, and the centuries of human supervision only go to show that the holy city and Zion its daughter, are royal leases, and therefore unmanageable by mere humans.

A set of beliefs and practices

If some people have a religious preference it is likely to be on public display in things like attending a place of worship, a choice of food, approved  or recommended clothing.  It is less likely to be the desirable virtues recognizable in every culture: mercy, generosity,  justice, industriousness, and joviality. Jerusalem’s record is not a good choice for faith or faithfulness.  Way back in Israel’s wilderness experience God evaluated that generation as void of faithfulness.

“Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness.

Deuteronomy 32:20

So where is CNN going with “Jerusalem: city of faith”?  Naturally we can say that Judaism is a Jerusalem thing even though the Jewish faith emerged from (a) Mount Sinai (b) from the patriarchal age and (c) from the interpretations of the sages. The Jerusalem temple was the place where Israelite faith was centred.

We cannot say the same about Islam or Christianity.  Neither has any genesis in Jerusalem.  Christ eminently did not, for example, die in the city.  He could not!

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

Hebrews 13:11-14

It would be a considerable contribution to the contradictions of our times if someone handed us a narrative that gives Jerusalem her peace without her king. Real estate has to do with where we spend our money, on this world or on another. Jerusalem is not that kind of property, having bidders, conquerors and owners.  Can that thought! The city of the great king is his to populate in cosmopolitan splendour, well outside the partisan and religious bickering about who gets to worship where.

When a Samaritan woman asserted her people’s pride of having a place where they go to worship the Messiah had a surprise for her.

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [plural = Jewish people] say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

John 4:20

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

John 4:21

The flare ups of violence and all the military campaigns by the regional powers are in conflict with the design of Jerusalem. They are Exhibit A in the case against the general ignorance about pilgrimages and zionist movements, against Islamic assertions of prophetic primacy, and against the marketing tendencies of western politics. Homicide will not justify getting Jerusalem her peace. Maybe it is time to admit that the king’s city will be unmanageble by mere humans.